Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Third Party Candidates Who Carried A State In A Presidential Election

The following are third party candidates for President who have carried a state in a Presidential Election since after the Civil War.   

This is part of the Texas Liberal Election Fact of the Day series.

1892—Populist candidate James Weaver of Iowa ( photo above) won Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Nevada and North Dakota. Mr. Weaver won 8.5% of the entire vote. Democrat Grover Cleveland of New York won the election. 

1912—Bull Moose Theodore Roosevelt of New York carried California, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Washington. Mr. Roosevelt was also the last third party candidate to finish ahead of a major party nominee. Incumbent President and Republican nominee William Howard Taft of Ohio finished third in 1912. Democrat Woodrow Wilson of New Jersey won the election. In 1912, Mr. Wilson won 42%, Mr. Roosevelt 27%, Mr. Taft 23 % and Socialist Eugene V. Debs of Indiana took 6%.

1924—Progressive Robert La Follette,Sr ( photo below) won his home state of Wisconsin. Mr. La Follette won 17% of the full national vote. Calvin Coolidge of Massachusetts won the election.

1948—Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond of South Carolina carried Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina. Mr. Thurmond won 2.4% overall. He was not on most ballots outside the South. Harry Truman of Missouri won the election.

1968—George Wallace of Alabama won Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi. Mr. Wallace won 13% of the nationwide total. Richard Nixon of California won the election.

Winning a state in a Presidential election is hard to accomplish. Ross Perot was unable to do so in 1992 even while winning 19% of the vote. Third party candidates must have some of concentrated regional appeal, as did Mr. Weaver, Mr. Thurmond and Mr. Wallace. Or maybe they just have to be Theodore Roosevelt.

( I’d suggest Texas Liberal readers check out the links to Weaver, Debs and La Follette. They were progressive and interesting figures.)

No third party seems likely to win a state in 2008.

September 19, 2008 Posted by | Election Fact Of The Day, Political History, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Misguided People Of Kansas Have Not Elected Democrat To The Senate Since 1932

It will distress you, though likely not shock you, to know that Kansas has not elected a Democrat to the Senate since 1932.

This is the Texas Liberal Election Fact of the Day. This is a new feature I will post each day I’m  so inclined between now and Election Day.

Direct Election of United States Senators—meaning election by the public instead of selection by state legislatures—began with the enactment of the 17th Amendment in 1913.

In Kansas, the first ever popular election to the Senate was won in 1912 by Democrat William Thompson. Kansas allowed direct election before the Constitution mandated such elections.

A more accurate picture of the political future in Kansas came when Senator Thompson won only 34% in his reelection campaign in 1918.

In 1930, Democrat George McGill ( Picture Above) won a special election fill the term of Charles Curtis who had been elected in 1928 as Vice President under Herbert Hoover.  

The link for Senator McGill is a 1938 letter to the editor of Time Magazine article about the Senator. From the letter– 

In the Senate: Balddomed, small chinned, doleful and dull of mien, Senator McGill has only one conspicuous mannerism—a “haha” which he inexplicably tacks on the end of his infrequent speeches. His voting record is Yes to every Roosevelt proposal: so faithful is he that, along with New Mexico’s Hatch, he tried to launch a substitute Supreme Court bill after the President himself had given up.

Senator McGill was defeated for reelection in 1938 and that was it for Democrats in the Senate from Kansas. No state has gone so long without a Democratic Senator. No state has gone so long shutting out either of the major political parties from the Senate.

Incumbent Republican Kansas Senator Pat Roberts is seeking another term this year and is the strong favorite to win.

The people of Kansas are deeply confused on the question of who would best represent their interests in the United States Senate. They have been confused on this question for very many years now.

September 18, 2008 Posted by | Election Fact Of The Day, Political History, Politics | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

As Ford Did Not Offer VP Spot To Reagan in ’76, Obama Had No Obligation To Any Defeated Candidate

Taken as a general matter, since the current primary-heavy process of selecting nominees began in 1972, victorious Presidential nominees have not selected their nearest rival in contested nomination fights as the Vice Presidential nominee. 

Only twice in contested nomination battles beginning with 1972 has the Vice Presidential nominee been the second place finisher in total primary votes. The Democratic ticket in 2004 and the Republican slate in 1980 are the two.

The 2008 Democratic race was the closest in vote totals, but the ideological fight for the Republican nomination in 1976 (Convention photo above) may have been the more intense struggle.  

In 2008, Barack Obama of Illinois and Hillary Clinton of New York each won just over 48% of the popular vote in the primaries with Mr. Obama winning a few more votes than Mrs. Clinton. For Republicans, John McCain of Arizona took around 45% of the total with Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and Mike Huckabee of Arkansas each in the low 20’s.  

In going with Joe Biden of Delaware, Senator Obama has made his call. Senator McCain will do the same next week.

Here is some history on this matter—

John Kerry of Massachusetts won 61% of Democratic primary voters in 2004. His closest competitor, John Edwards of North Carolina, won 19% of all such voters and got a spot on the ticket. 

In 2000 Al Gore of Tennessee (76% of Democratic primary voters) did not pick Bill Bradley of New Jersey (20%). Nor did George W. Bush of Texas (63% of Republican primary voters) select Mr. McCain (30%). 

In 1996, Bob Dole of Kansas (61%) left Pat Buchanan of Virginia (24%) off the ticket.

In 1992, Bill Clinton  of Arkansas (52%) selected neither Jerry Brown of California (20%) or Paul Tsongas of Massachusetts (18%).

In 1988, George H.W. Bush  of Texas (68%) did not make Mr. Dole (19%) his running mate. Mike Dukakis of Massachusetts (43%) did not offer the spot to Jesse Jackson of Illinois (29%).

The 1984 Democratic race was hard fought. Still Walter Mondale of Minnesota (38%) denied Gary Hart of Colorado (36%) a place on the ticket. This was a race almost as close as 2008.

In 1980, incumbent Vice President Mondale stayed on the slate after President Jimmy Carter of Georgia (51%) beat Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts (37%) for the nomination.

In the 1980 Republican race, the second place finisher did get the second spot. Ronald Reagan of California (61%) picked Mr. Bush (23%) as his number two.  

In 1976, Mr. Carter (39%) did not offer the job to Mr. Brown (15%), George Wallace of Alabama (12%) or Morris Udall of Arizona (10%),

In the fiercely fought Republican race in 1976 , President Gerald Ford of Michigan (53%) did not offer the Vice Presidency to Mr. Reagan (46%). Senator Dole was President Ford’s choice.

1972 was the last time the nominee was not the top vote getter in the primaries. Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota won 26% of the vote against 25% for George McGovern of South Dakota and 24% for George Wallace. The nominee, Mr. McGovern did not offer the VP spot to either gentleman.

( Governor George Wallace stands in the schoolhouse door blocking integration in Alabama. Neither George McGovern or Jimmy Carter thought it best to run with Mr. Wallace in a Presidential election.)

August 24, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Political History, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Photo From 1908 Democratic Convention In Denver

original negative

The 1908 Democratic National Convention was held in Denver, Colorado and nominated William Jennings Bryan of Nebraska for President. Mr. Bryan, nominated for a third unsuccessful run, lost to William Howard Taft of Ohio.

The 1908 convention was the first major party convention held in a western state.

The theme of the convention’s platform was “Shall the people rule?”

From the platform— The conscience of the nation is now aroused to free the government from the grip of those who have made it a business asset of the favor-seeking corporations. It must become again a people’s government and be administered in all its departments according to the Jeffersonian maxim, “equal rights to all; special privilege to none.

“Shall the people rule? is the overshadowing issue which manifests itself in all the questions now under discussion.”

On Election Day 1908, the people decided it would be best if Mr. Taft ruled.

Here are detailed results of the 1908 election.

Here is information about the 1908 campaign. 

August 21, 2008 Posted by | Political History, Politics | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Support Any Energy Policy That Wins Votes For Obama

So-called Energy Independence has been a topic of political debate for many years.

( Wind power has a long history. Maybe Mr. Obama should push for wind power.)

The following is from the 1976 Republican National Convention platform—

“One fact should now be clear: We must reduce sharply our dependence on other nations and strive to achieve energy independence at the earliest possible date. We cannot allow the economic destiny and international policy of the United States to be dictated by the sovereign powers that control major portions of the world’s petroleum supplies.”

Sure.

Dick Cheney, who was Chief of Staff for the nominee of that convention, Gerald Ford, says conservation is a “personal virtue.” John McCain mocks the idea of energy conservation.

These people were not serious 30 years ago and they are not serious today.

( Mr. Obama could show respect for rural America by backing an energy plan that makes greater use of animals.)  

The following is from the 1976 Democratic National Convention platform—

The huge reserves of oil, gas, and coal on federal territory, including the outer continental shelf, belong to all the people. The Republicans have pursued leasing policies which give the public treasury the least benefit and that energy industry the most benefit from these public resources. Consistent with environmentally sound practices, new leasing procedures must be adopted to correct these policies….” 

This debate may well go on for years to come.

Given all these years of empty talk, I don’t believe either party will seriously address this problem until forced to do so by events. Despite high gas prices in recent years and the fact that oil profits have helped fund terrorists, the public is not ready yet to talk about solutions that will either cost money at the pump, or that will involve scaling back our lives.

Mr. McCain’s view that mocking Mr. Obama’s reasonable suggestion that correct tire pressure makes a difference in fuel efficiency is a good campaign tactic, suggests a public not looking for real progress on energy independence.  

And falling, for the moment at least, for the quick-fix false promise of offshore drilling, again shows a public not serious about the issue.

If Mr. Obama wants to talk about more domestic drilling—fine. If gas prices go down for a few months, the issue will recede. If gas prices stay high, he’d likely have to bend in any case if elected President. It’s not worth giving Senator McCain an issue.

What either Mr. Obama or Mr. McCain will do as President will be dictated by unforeseen events and the composition of Congress after the election. Just tell people what they want to hear on this one and maybe—against the odds—we can move on to an a issue where a more helpful discussion is possible.

Though don’t bet on that either.

(How about solar power satellite arrays serviced by fleets of yet to be built spaceships? If Mr. Obama can sell this idea I would be in agreement.)

August 20, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Political History, Politics | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

I Signed Up For Obama Text Message—A First Use Of Telegraph Was Coverage Of 1844 Democratic Convention

I signed up to get the text message from the Obama campaign that will announce his Vice Presidential selection. I did so after reading today about use of the telegraph at the 1844 Democratic Convention in the book What Hath God Wrought—The Transformation America, 1815-1848. This book, by Daniel Walker Howe, is the most recent winner of the Pulitzer Prize for history.

The 1844 Democratic Convention was held in Baltimore and nominated James K. Polk of Tennessee for President and George M. Dallas of Pennsylvania for Vice President. Dallas, Texas is named after Mr. Dallas.  

Here is information about the 1844 Election. Mr. Polk and Mr. Dallas won the election over Henry Clay of Kentucky.

The telegraph was invented by Samuel F.B. Morse and was first demonstrated in 1844.  

From the book— “ within a few days of the initial demonstration…Morse was keeping members of Congress in Washington abreast of developments at the Democratic National Convention in Baltimore as they happened….The first practical application of Morse’s invention—to report a political party convention—was no accident. The formation of mass political parties, their organization on local, state and national levels, the application of government patronage to knit them together, their espousal of rival political programs, and the ability to command the attention of the public all combined to give this period in American history its distinctive politicized quality. The rise of mass parties has often been traced to extending the franchise…to include virtually all white males. However, no parties with mass following could have come into existence without a revolution in communication. …Newspapers quickly enlisted the telegraph in their quest to gather and distribute information….”  

It’s silly I suppose to have signed up for the text message. Yet reading about first political use of a new type of communication in 1844, made me want to be part of the first mass political use of a relatively new form of communication in 2008.

Here is information about the telegraph and the history of the telegraph.

August 19, 2008 Posted by | Books, Campaign 2008, History, Political History, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

I’m A Liberal Okay With Evan Bayh As Vice President

Some on the left object to the idea of Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana being chosen as running mate for Senator Barack Obama. The claim is that Mr. Bayh is a centrist, or within the context of the Democratic Party, on the right.

Here is an account of votes Evan Bayh has made in the Senate

Here is Senator Bayh’s Senate page.

Here is Mr. Bayh’s official Congressional profile.   

Here is a Chicago Tribune profile of Senator Bayh.

I don’t object to Senator Bayh’s possible selection. I want to win the election. If the Obama campaign makes the call for Mr. Bayh, that’s fine by me.  

Senator Bayh has shown the ability to win in Indiana. Indiana, bordering Mr. Obama’s Illinois, is seen as a swing state in 2008 despite a strong Republican history. If Mr. Bayh can help in Indiana, and maybe in next-door Ohio as well, then he is my man.

And I’m not so certain that Mr. Bayh is as to the right as is being suggested. The following is from his profile in the 2008 Almanac Of American Politics—

“… he joined filibusters to stop the constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, the bill to limit medical malpractice lawsuits and several judicial nominees; he joined almost all other Democrats in rejecting individual retirement accounts in Social Security; he took a harder line stance on trade; he voted not just against Samuel Alito but also against John Roberts.

Mr. Bayh will adjust himself to the needs of the moment and the constituency. That’s what they all do within, much of the time at least, the confines of party ID.

One concern about Senator Bayh as VP is that the Republican Governor of Indiana is currently the favorite to win another term. Mr. Bayh as Vice President would cost Democrats a Senate seat. 

A black man named Barack Obama has a lot of work to do in this country to reassure voters that he is not a Black Panther. If Evan Bayh is the course to follow to accomplish this goal—then okay.  In contrast to a victory for John McCain, the difference between what Mr. Bayh would mean for the country rather than a more liberal Vice President is on the margins.

Here is the U.S. Senate’s Vice President web home. It describes the history of the office and has good profiles of each Vice President. It’s the best resource I have seen on the topic.

Below is Schuyler Colfax of Indiana. Mr. Colfax was Speaker of the U.S. House, and Vice President between 1869 and 1873 under U.S. Grant. Regretably, as the profile I link to details, Mr. Colfax had some ethical issues in his political career. 

August 17, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Political History, Politics | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Women’s Suffrage Parade From 1913

color film copy transparency

Above is a picture of a women’s suffrage parade  in New York City from 1913.

Here is a history of the suffrage movement.

Women gained the vote in 1920 with passage of the 19th Amendment.

It remains hard to imgaine that it took until 1920 for women to be able to vote in this country.

August 11, 2008 Posted by | History, Political History, Politics | , , , , | 2 Comments

1948 Republican Platform On The United Nations

Below is the 1948 Republican convention platform position on the United Nations—

We believe in collective security against aggression and in behalf of justice and freedom. We shall support the United Nations as the world’s best hope in this direction, striving to strengthen it and promote its effective evolution and use. The United Nations should progressively establish international law…and be provided with the armed forced contemplated by the Charter.

What a difference 60 years makes. Imagine today’s Republicans discussing collective security, international law and arming the United Nations. 

Though none of this is to suggest that Republicans of that day lacked a full compliment of Commie-hunting paranoids. Maybe though they were, for a brief moment, not fully in command of all the party.

The 1948 Republican convention was held in Philadelphia and nominated Governor Thomas E. Dewey of New York (below). Though Mr. Dewey began the campaign as the strong favorite, he was defeated by President Harry Truman.

August 5, 2008 Posted by | Political History, Politics | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

1920 Presidential Election—Who Was The Best Candidate?

Who was the best candidate in the 1920 Presidential election? 

The Republican nominee was Senator Warren G. Harding of Ohio. Senator Harding, a deeply conservative and unimaginative figure, has long been regarded as one of our worst Presidents.   

No right-thinking person would have voted for Mr. Harding in 1920. The fact that 60% of the electorate did indeed vote for Mr. Harding only proves my point.

The Democrat was Governor James Cox of Ohio. Governor Cox’s record in Ohio did have its merits. He had regulated utilities, required lobbyists to register, built more up-to-date schools and advocated for a workmen’s compensation law.

A bad point about Governor Cox was that he had signed into law a bill that prohibited teaching students any language but English up until the eighth grade. This legislation was part of anti-German paranoia during WW I. The target of the law was the teaching of German in heavily German Ohio cities such as Cincinnati.

The Socialist was Eugene V. Debs of Indiana. Much of what Socialists proposed may have seem far-fetched at the time, but later became part of American life.

The 1920 Socialist platform advocated a minimum wage, an end to child labor, and rights for black Americans.

Mr. Debs had won 6% of the vote in the 1912 Presidential election and would win 3.4% in 1920. Not a bad showing for a third-party candidate.

In 1920, I would have likely voted for Mr. Debs. The election was a clear Harding victory. It would have worth the risk to vote for Mr. Debs and his greater social vision, at the expense of the more progressive of the major party candidates.

In fairness, it should be noted that President Harding pardoned Mr. Debs from jail. Mr. Debs had been put in jail by Woodrow Wilson’s Justice Department for his opposition to WW I.  Mr. Debs ran his 1920 campaign from prison.

President Wilson would not pardon Mr. Debs. President Harding was more humane and just in this regard.

July 31, 2008 Posted by | Political History, Politics | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Oldest Presidential Nominees

Who have been the oldest candidates for President? 

Senator John McCain will be 72 on Election Day 2008. This makes him the second oldest first-time major party nominee in Presidential election history. Here are first-time major party Presidential nominees nominated at age 65 or older. Listed after the name is the candidate’s age on Election Day and the year of the election. At the end of each listing is the lifespan of the candidate.    

( Please click here for a list of the youngest Presidents)

Bob Dole

1. Bob Dole 73,1996–Senator Dole finally got his turn as Republican nominee. Lost to Bill Clinton. ( 1923- )

2. John McCain, 72, 2008—Republican running against man who would be one of our youngest Presidents. (1936-)

3. Ronald Reagan,  69, 1980—Oldest man to win a Presidential election. Renominated at age 73. This Republican beat Jimmy Carter in 1980 and Walter Mondale in 1984. (1911-2004)

Staute of William Henry Harrison in Downtown Cincinnati

4. William Henry Harrison, 67, 1840–Harrison ran as regional nominee of Whigs as part of a failed plan to defeat Martin Van Buren in 1836. In 1840 Harrison was nominee of entire party. He was elected but died one month into his term. Beat Mr. Van Buren. (1773-1841)

Lewis Cass

5. Lewis Cass, 66, 1848—Democrat was longtime territorial Governor of Michigan and a Secretary of War to Andrew Jackson. Lost to Whig Zachary Taylor. (1782-1866)

6. James Buchanan, 65, 1856—A Democrat who would have been a lousy President at any age. Watched helplessly as Union fell apart.  Defeated Republican John Fremont.  (1791-1868)

Others have reached age 65 in the years between a first nomination and a subsequent nomination.

These men are—

George H.W. Bush—68 when renominated in 1992. Lost to then Governor Clinton  ( 1924- )

Henry Clay—67 at time of final failed attempt in 1844. Lost to James Polk. (1777-1852)

Dwight Eisenhower 66 when winning second term in 1956 . Beat Adlai Stevenson. (1890-1969)

Andrew Jackson—65 for second term win in 1832. Beat Henry Clay. ( 1767-1845)

John Adams—65 in failed 1800 reelection bid. Lost to Thomas Jefferson. (1735-1826)

(Please click here for a list of the best popular vote totals in a Presidential election.)

July 28, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, History, Political History, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Keep Your Core Beliefs To A Minimum

The passage I excerpt below is from Paul Revere And The World He Lived In by Esther Forbes. The book was published in 1942 and won a Pulitzer prize. I can’t recommend it enough. It makes you feel as if you are living in Colonial Boston. 

What I found of note in the passage is the fleeting luck-of-the-draw nature of what must have seemed core beliefs to the man in question. The subject, Governor Thomas Hutchinson (above), was forced out of a Colonial Massachusetts he has lost control over not long before the American Revolution. As the author notes in Revere, in many respects Hutchinson just came around at the wrong time.

From the book— 

“No man ever loved Massachusetts with a greater intensity than did Thomas Hutchinson. He had written her history, fought for her boundaries, re-established her currency, seen to it that her courts and judicial system were kept to a high standard. He had honestly believed in the centralization of power, and that the centre should be in London. The side which one did not, and yet their grandchildren ( two of Paul Revere’s  were to be dying within the century for the centralization of power in the Federal Government. Hutchinson lost everything by backing the wrong system at the wrong time. His houses, wharves, horses, coaches, great estates, even the tomb of his wife on Copp’s Hill, were confiscated. His name became an anathema. Hutchinson street would be renamed Pearl….and yet if the other side had won, Thomas Hutchinson would undoubtedly be regarded as one of you greatest patriots.”

Belief in British control of the colonies, and in a model of government that placed that control in London, meant nothing after the Revolution. Most of the talk and agitation meant to either keep the colonies under British governance, or, for that matter to free them, had little bearing on the final outcome of the struggle.   

I’m not suggesting it’s worthless to fight for a losing cause or for a cause that has little chance of success in your lifetime. You must go by what you believe. In fact, fighting for such a cause may well constitute a life well-spent.

What I am suggesting is that one way to keep a focus on what is most important, is to keep your core beliefs to a minimum. Protect what you believe from the whims of fate and from the endless distractions of our busy and media overloaded society. 

The liberalism I support is about a role for government in regulating the economy in order to make life more fair, a broad acceptance of people as they are, and democracy and free elections.   

I’m open to various methods and policies to reach these goals. Many “issues of the day” come and go and are quickly forgotten. Many things that seem important are not important.

Keep your core beliefs at a minimum and keep your eyes on the prize.

Here is information on Esther Forbes.

Here is information on Thomas Hutchinson.

July 22, 2008 Posted by | Books, Colonial America, History, Political History, Politics | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Eunuchs Have A Long History In Government—Though Jackson Is Wrong To Suggest It For Obama

 

The Reverend Jesse Jackson has suggested in the past few days that Senator Barack Obama be castrated.

While I’ve written that I’m standing by Reverend Jackson in the broader sense, I oppose this specific suggestion.

I will say though that eunuchs have long played a role in government. In his classic three-volume work entitled The History of Government From Earliest Times, the late political scientist S.E. Finer made many references to eunuchs. 

( Above is 18th-century eunuch in some type of eunuch robe.)  

I count a total of 14 eunuch references in the index to the three volumes. They served in Rome, China, Persia and in other places.

From Finer—….Eunuchs, wherever we find them–in the late Roman and the Byzantine empires, in the Caliphate and Ottoman Empire, and in Imperial China—are humble menials, but some, more educated and talented then the rest rise to positions of influence….The Assyrian monarchs may have employed eunuchs extensively….If Herodotus is to be believed…Babylonia and Assyria had to supply the court with 500 boy-eunuchs a year….At first the ones mentioned by name are confidential emissaries, but from the time of Artaxerxes I the eunuchs appear in highly influential positions.

Why and how eunuchs could attain such importance is explained by Xenophon…”They are not made any less efficient horsemen…or less ambitious men…rather the contrary, and even if physically weaker ( which he doubts), steel makes the weak equal to the strong.”

Finer continues–“Men would put children, wives, and sweethearts first–Not so the eunuchs, whose chief affection would go to those who could make them rich, protect them, and give them high office. Furthermore, eunuchs were despised by the rest of mankind, hence they were dependant on a patron for protection.”  

Of course, it is also true that slaves throughout history were sometimes punished with castration.

Bottom line—While eunuchs have often held great power, they have not generally reached the top spot. Also, most eunuchs have been slaves or servants of one kind or another. If Reverend Jackson is angry at Senator Obama, I feel that some other expression of that anger would be more appropriate.

July 11, 2008 Posted by | Books, Campaign 2008, Political History, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’m Sticking By Jesse Jackson

Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama, the senator from Chicago, has accepted the apology of the Rev. Jesse Jackson for crude comments he made about Obama when he thought a television station microphone was not on. Here, Jackson holds up an Obama campaign sign on Super Tuesday primary night at Obama's party on Feb. 5 in Chicago.

Jesse Jackson made some intemperate remarks about Barack Obama recently. Reverend Jackson made these comments in front of an open microphone.

Jesse Jackson has been out there for a lot of people over the years. He’s had his act on the road for 40 years now. I say that admiringly. Reverend Jackson has no real institutional base, yet he keeps going.

The great A. Phillip Randolph ran the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters for many years. He could pick his spots. He knew he had a gig waiting for him at the end of the day. Martin Luther King was dead at 39. But Jesse has had to be out there slugging it out.

Reverend Jackson may not be Mr. Randolph or Rev. King, but he presses ahead.

( Please click here for the best Martin Luther King reading list on the web.)

People forget how groundbreaking Rev. Jackson’s Presidential campaigns were in 1984 and 1988. He won a lot of votes and earned the right to go all the way to party convention in both years.

And the fact is there were elements of truth to what he was saying about Mr. Obama’s campaign. Senator Obama needs to focus on misdeeds by all people.

In 1988, I cast my first vote for President for Jesse Jackson in the Democratic primary. He’s part of the reason I’ll be voting for a black man in 2008 in the general election.

I’m sticking by Jesse Jackson.

(Please click here to read about the history of eunuchs in government.)

July 11, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Political History, Politics | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Chet Edwards For VP?—Texans Who Have Run For VP On Major & Minor Party Tickets

With Texas U.S Representative Chet Edwards of Waco being considered for a place on the Democratic ticket with Barack Obama, here are other Texans who have run for Vice President on major and minor party tickets.

First the major party candidates—

John Nance Garner

The first Texan on a major party ticket was John Nance Garner of Uvalde. Mr. Garner ran successfully with Democrat Franklin Roosevelt of New York in both 1932 and 1936. Immediately before becoming Vice President, Mr. Garner was Speaker of the U.S. House.   

Vice President Garner was never fully on-board with the New Deal. He offered support for F.D.R in his first term, but was a source of behind-the-scenes opposition in his second term.  

In 1940, Vice President Garner opposed President Roosevelt for the Democratic nomination. Mr. Roosevelt was easily nominated for a third term.

The link above to Mr. Garner, as well as the links to Lyndon Johnson ,George Bush, Martin Van Buren and Dan Quayle will take you to the excellent U.S. Senate page on Vice PresidentsThere are first-rate profiles to be found of all VP’s at the Senate site.)  

Lyndon Johnson

Lyndon Johnson ran with Democrat John Kennedy of Massachusetts in 1960. Immediately before becoming Vice President, Mr Johnson was Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate.   

As Vice President, Mr. Johnson was placed in charge of America’s manned spaceflight program.

With the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963, Mr. Johnson became the first Texan to serve as President of the United States.    

George H.W. Bush

George H.W. Bush  of Houston was the first Texas Republican to run for, and serve as, Vice President. He ran with Ronald Reagan of California in 1980 and 1984. Mr. Bush held a variety of political jobs before his selection as Mr. Reagan’s Vice President.

Despite suspicions that Mr. Bush had knowledge of the Iran-Contra affair, he went on the become the first sitting Vice President since Martin Van Buren to win election as President.

Lloyd Bentsen    

Lloyd Bentsen, of Hidalgo County and Houston, ran with Mike Dukakis of Massachusetts in 1988. Mr. Bentsen had been a U.S. Senator since 1971.

Governor Dukakis had been tricked by early polls suggesting he had a chance to carry Texas in the general election. He did not win Texas in the fall.   

The Dukakis/Bentsen ticket lost to George Bush and Dan Quayle of Indiana in 1988. This was the first time that two of the four candidates at the top of the ticket in a Presidential election were from Texas. Mr. Bensten had defeated future President Bush in the 1970 U.S. Senate race in Texas.

Mr. Bentsen later served as Treasury Secretary for Bill Clinton.  

There have also been Texans who have run for Vice President with minor party tickets. 

In 1880, Benjamin Chambers ran with future Populist Party founder James Weaver of Iowa on the Greenback Labor ticket. This slate won a decent 3.3%  of the national vote that year. Greenback Labor ran on an economic agenda to the left of the major parties. Greenbacks favored an income tax and the vote for women. I think I might have voted Greenback in 1880.

James Britton Cranfill  from Parker County was the Prohibition Party running mate in 1892.  George Carroll ran on the second spot of the Prohibition ticket of 1904. While Mr. Carroll never became Vice President, he did serve two terms as an alderman from Beaumont.

(The profiles of Mr. Cranfill and Mr. Carroll are from The Handbook of Texas Online and are very good. I cannot find any information on Mr. Chambers.) 

The 2004 Prohibition running mate, Howard Lydick of Richardson, is a Texan.

July 10, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, History, Political History, Politics, Texas | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment